August 10th, 2008
09:28 AM ET
12 years ago

McCain, Obama both speak with Georgian president

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili spoke with both U.S. presidential candidates on Saturday."]

(CNN) - John McCain and Barack Obama both spoke to Georgia's president Saturday and continued to call for an end to Russia's bombing of the former Soviet republic.

Both candidates pressed for recognition of Georgia's sovereignty pushed for diplomacy in the conflict.

"For many years, I have warned against Russian actions that undermine the sovereignty of its neighbors," said McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, on Saturday. "Unfortunately, we have seen in recent days Russia demonstrate that these concerns were well-founded."

Obama also condemned "the violation of Georgia's sovereignty" and called for "an immediate ceasefire."

"Russia must stop its bombing campaign, cease flights of Russian aircraft in Georgian airspace, and withdraw its ground forces from Georgia," Obama said.

McCain said he has spoken to Georgian President Saakashvili twice since the conflict began. "It is clear the situation is dire ... I again call on the government of Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia."

He called the conflict a "threat to Euro-Atlantic security," and supported attempts by Western powers - including the United States, the European Union, and NATO - to broker a ceasefire.

Obama is receiving breifings om the situation while on vacation in Hawaii. He also spoke with Saakashvili, and in a statement afterwards direct talks between Russia and Georgia are necessary.

"Diplomats at the highest levels from the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations must become directly involved in mediating this military conflict and beginning a process to resolve the political disputes over the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia," he said. "A genuinely neutral mediator - not the Russian government - must begin a process of negotiations immediately."

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Senator John Magoo

    McCain seems to be a international name dropper. For all his rhetoric he has no influence on the situation. Why would he call Georgia twice? Did he forget the first call?

    Republicans know how to get elected, they just don't know how to govern.

    August 10, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |




    August 10, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. randy

    Well we hope that russia need to understand that the USSR is dead and it is not coming back to live.georgia protect your country at all cost.

    August 10, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  4. randy

    Russians may be thinking that the are powerful and the can do anything to georgia and get away with it well the international community will put them back to the place the were in the 90s.

    August 10, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Dem

    McCain's next "war"

    I bet he's super excited!

    August 10, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Larry Tyus

    It never amaze me that the US and it allies have the guts to speak out about another country aggression upon another nation but fail to talk about the same types of aggression that they have used against other nations. Let the American people remember that we are at war in to country nations based on lies and falsehood then there is the Jewish nation killing of palestine over land that they have no rights to. Lets see if the US is going to challenge another nation that is just as powerful as we are or will we continue to pick conflicts with lesser nation. Once again we will get the opportunity to see two superpower at odds with each other so this lead to the question of which one will blink my money is on the US blinking first.

    August 10, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. randy

    Tough talk john macain.if republicans havent learn the side of tough talk when it comes national security.the should learn it vladimir putin this guy dont talk to talk he works all over it.we need on on president who look tough talks to talk and also work.and that is obama will be the strongest US president he dont talk to much what count is your action.

    August 10, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Sounds like McCain is ready to bomb, bomb, bomb so Russia better take his warning serious because McCain is not interested in Obama's kind of diplomacy.

    August 10, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    So John McCain fully approves of and supports George Bush's unprovoked and illegal attempted conquest and occupation and colonization of oil-rich Iraq, a sovereign nation, yet lectures Russia on its attack of Georgia, a state that had suceded from the Russian union some years back. This is bald-faced hypocrisy at its worst and makes clear he would continue Bush's alienation of America from the world as a "rogue nation" that personifies "do as I say, not as I do...or else".

    August 10, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. The Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    Hey I don't think Mr. Ridge is up for the job. I prefer Mitt Romney or Charlie Crist from Florida for VP

    Regardless I will wholeheartedly support either candidate that McCain selects as his VP

    Obama is a loser, a flip flopper and can't be trusted.

    Hussein Obama is as green as the July Corn in the midwest. Nice to look at, but not ready for prime time.

    August 10, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Denzelw

    as a russian, i must say: the us official view is all but balanced. it looks like all that is driving the us, quite pragmatically, is us' own economic interest, not the humanitarian reality. georgians came in during the night shooting andgrenading the civilians. georgians did not sign peace treaty. georgian president is a puppet for the US. what politician in the right mind would address his nation declaring a war to a superpower in non-native English language. it is doubtful that all people in the country understood first hand what he said. cowardly stupid biased action by a politician who screwed his own country – this is what us politicians are currently officially supporting.

    August 10, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Dan

    The only reason this is gaining much faster attention by the US than Kosovo did, is because there is oil involved, oil with direct US interests.

    August 10, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  13. KenM

    All Obama has to do is show up for a photo op and all will be well. They will simply cease since the one says so.

    August 10, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. DAN

    It's true that McCain has been warning us about Russia and Putine for years now while Obama still hasn't held one oversite hearing that he's chairing on Afganistan. Obama talks alot but is a present voter except when he voted for the Bush Chenney energy plan that McCain voted against with Hillary because it gave to much money to the oil companies. He so not the one.

    August 10, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. obama is the most dangerous man alive

    obama, shut up and sit down. Who are you trying to kid? You are such a joke.

    August 10, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. Michael

    Though I agree this is a hugely significant issue and that our presidential candidates need to be intimately aware of its occurence, I am sure the Georgian president has better things to do right now than cater to McCain and Obama's need to look presidential.

    August 10, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. DC Insider

    McCain advised the President of Georgia not to antagonize Russia into a broader conflict , withdraw Georgian troops from the area under dispute, and recommended they pursue all diplomatic channels through the US Britian France Germany and the UN

    Obama suggested to the Georgian President that he should inflate the tire pressure on all his army venhicles to get maximum mileage. He also urged tax cuts to give his economy a boost

    August 10, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. obama is the most dangerous man alive

    Their is something very wrong in this country when 90% of the black people are voting for a candidate just because he's black.They'll say color has nothing to do with it but we know that is a lie.
    This country is not ready for a black president because 90% of the black population is so willing to base their vote on nothing more than color. If you really want to see the door open to a really bad situation in this country then vote for obama. He is without a doubt the most dangerous man in America.

    August 10, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |

    Mc Cain has been in Washington for 26yrs, yet HIS RESUME IS DEFINITELY NOT IMPRESSIVE.This is his 2nd TIME RUNNING FOR THE PRESIDENCY , YET HE IS HAS NO COMPREHENSIVE PLANS , therefore the BASIS of his campaign is MUD- SLINGING at his opponent. He is JEALOUS of Obama's youth, intelligence, crowd appeal, vision,leadership, judgment and his oratory skills. For someone with all those years in politics he should have leading Obama by double digits, instead he is trailing behind that he has to resort to Juvenille pranks.

    August 10, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Last Honest Man

    I call on Russia to............give me a break.

    I'm still trying to figure out why the wimps at CNN did not print my comments on the EDWARDs deception (husband and wife).

    August 10, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Tennessee

    Does obama know where Georgia is located on a globe. . .(hint) Atlanta is not the capital.

    Anyone but Obama '08

    August 10, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. Tyler in Raleigh

    This is not the US business. We ourselves had a civil war.... we didn't need Russia to tell us how to handle our internal affairs. Should they have told us that the South was a soverign state and threaten us if we tried to unite the US again?

    August 10, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. ex-Republican for Obama

    America needs Obama as commander in chief now, not that rich, old,
    out -of -touch guy with a huge temper.

    August 10, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. The cradle of war

    It's back for sure; whether it proves to be the 'hot' or 'cold' version remains the only unanswerd question. WAR is reborn, again.

    August 10, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Save Us!

    Im sure all Johnny McSurge talked about was whats the most effective way to start World War III.

    August 10, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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